Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 8/28/2015 - Dodger Links - Campanella, Puig and Joc Pederson

Check out this fantastic photo (dated 1940) of a teenage Roy Campanella (on the left) as a member of the Criollos de Caguas ballclub in the Puerto Rican Baseball League.  It was shared on twitter by Jorge Colon-Delgado.  He shares a bunch of great vintage pics that are worth taking a look at; including a 1954 photo of Don Zimmer when he played in Puerto Rico that you can see here.  Jorge also has some fantastic mics of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson.

Below are more links to check out:
  • Uhy-oh!  Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig leave game vs. Reds."
"I felt it a little more than when I hurt it in Oakland," Puig said in Spanish. "... It wasn't that severe that time. Now, God willing, this one isn't that severe, either."
  • Ken Gurnick at adds that, "Adrian bruises knee, says he'll play Friday."  Hopefully, this is a crisis averted.   
"It's good," Gonzalez said. "It started to swell a little bit and we didn't want it to swell too much. Take today off and be able to play [Friday] rather than play the rest of the game not feeling good."
Votto has heard the complaints about Pederson’s batting average. Early in his career, he cared only about his home runs and his average. Now, he cares not, preferring to focus on the direction and trajectory of the balls he puts into play, and how much he’s striking out and walking. Those are the elements he can control. He cannot fully control his average, which sunk to .255 a year ago before returning to MVP-like levels this season. And neither can Pederson.

“He’s doing so many other valuable things,” Votto said. “He plays center field, he hits for power, he gets on base, and you can’t ignore that. Nobody wants to see a low batting average, because it doesn’t reflect well, but you can’t deny the value of what he’s doing.
In his 26th appearance of the year, Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.61. Since 1968, the five-lowest season-ending ERAs were Bob Gibson's 1.12 in 1968, Dwight Gooden's 1.53 in '85, Greg Maddux's 1.56 in '94, Luis Tiant's 1.60 in '68 and Maddux's 1.63 in '95. 
The way I figure, it comes to four things. Very slightly, the Dodgers have underachieved with men on base. They've been a bad baserunning team. They've very infrequently reached on errors. And then some of this is probably just simple bad luck. Combine those and I imagine you can account for the missing half-run a game. You at least get close. That's why the Dodgers haven't scored as many runs as you'd think.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cubs Series Starts Tomorrow - Scheduled Autograph Signings, Game Give Aways and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts tomorrow evening against the Chicago Cubs, and several old-tyme Dodgers will be in the house to sign free autographs for fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

For the series against Chicago, Levy Restaurants will offer the Chicago Style Dog, a quarter-pound all-beef Super Dodger Dog served on a poppy seed bun with fresh tomato slices, sports peppers, a pickle spear and topped with neon green relish, diced onions and drizzled with mustard and celery salt. The Chicago Style Dog will be on sale through Sunday at Extreme Loaded Dogs locations on field, loge and reserve levels.

They will also offer a BBQ Pulled Pork Dodger Dog this homestand, a world-famous Dodger Dog topped with smoked BBQ pulled pork and Levy’s tangy BBQ sauce. The BBQ Pulled Pork Dodger Dog will be on sale at the Think Blue BBQ located in the left-field plaza.

Friday, August 28th at 7:10 PM
RHP Jason Hammel vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw
SNLA & MLB Network / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Friday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM. It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game to watch the spectacle. The theme will be "Summer Songs."  Go here for information about future firework themes.

It is also Social Media Night at Dodger Stadium.  Folks who ordered a special ticket package in the All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion or Infield Reserve will get an exclusive Social Media t-shirt with your ticket.  See that on the left.  If not already sold out go here for information.

As part of Social Media Night, a photo area with a @Dodgers logo step-and-repeat and an oversized Instagram frame will be located in the right-field plaza for fans to take and upload photos using Friday’s official hashtag, #DodgersSocial from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

ALL 4 ONE, a Grammy award-winning group who are celebrating 20 years together and just released a new album “Twenty,” will perform the national anthem.

Dodger alum Kenny Landreaux will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. DJ Adam will provide musical entertainment in the right-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Spencer Green.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Friday include a Yasiel Puig autographed photo, Andre Ethier autographed baseball and Joc Pederson autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 8:45 p.m.

Saturday, August 29th at 6:10 PM
LHP Jon Lester vs. RHP Mat Latos
SNLA & MLB Network / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Saturday's game starts at 6:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 3:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 4:10 PM.

The sixth of eight Cy Young Collectors' Pin Series giveaways is this night.  The first 40,000 fans will receive an Orel Hershiser pin.  See it on the left.

DJ Adam will provide entertainment in the right-field plaza, DJ Lady Sha will be in the left-field reserve plaza, a yo-yo artist will be in the left-field plaza, and classic rock band The Trip will play in the right-field reserve plaza from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Dodger alumnus Dennis Powell will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Navy Lieutenant Richard Parisi.

Sunday, August 30th at 5:08 PM
RHP Jake Arrieta vs. LHP Alex Wood
SNLA & ESPN/AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Sunday's game starts at 5:05 PM.  Auto gates open at 2:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 3:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Dodgers headphone.  See it on the left.

It is also Jewish Community Night at Dodger Stadium.  Folks who ordered a special ticket package in the All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion or Infield Reserve will get an exclusive Jewish Community t-shirt with your ticket.  See that on the right.  If not already sold out go here for information.

Levy Restaurants will also offer a Kosher Dog, Kosher Jalapeño Dog and a Kosher Sausage on Sunday (as well as this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this homestand). All three Kosher dogs can be purchased near Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria in the right-field plaza and in reserve level section 37.

As part of Jewish Community Day, Rabbi Avi Stewart, rabbi and cantor of the Westwood Kehilla, will perform the national anthem. Actor Anthony Anderson will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Dodger alum Mickey Hatcher will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Viva Los Dodgers at the historic 76 station will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will feature live musical entertainment by Hector Guerra and Viva Mas and a folklorico performance by the SDS Dance Studio. Dodger alumni will be on hand for autographs. Levy Restaurants offers Dodger dogs, carne asada tacos and Montejo beer for purchase at Viva Los Dodgers.  Dodger alum Manny Mota will sign autographs for fans from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Guillaume Meyer.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Friday include a Carl Crawford autographed photo, Don Newcombe autographed baseball and Adrian Gonzalez autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 6:45 p.m.

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Blog Kiosk: 8/27/2015 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

You gotta like the Dodgers recent offensive explosion at the plate.  Yesterday, they hit three home runs in the 4th inning to propel the team to a 5-0 lead over the Reds.  They would eventually win 7-4.  Photo above via @SportsNetLA on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
“See, here’s what I always heard. Dan was scared to death that he was going to hit a white boy with a pitch,” Buck O’Neil said in Joe Posnanski’s, ‘The Soul of Baseball.’ “He thought there might be some sort of riot if he did it. Dan was from Alabama just like your father. But Satchel became a man of the world. Dan was always from Alabama, you know what I mean? He heard all those people calling him names, making those threats, and he was scared. He’d seen black men get lynched.” 
  • Rob Arthur at FiveThirtyEight takes a look at, "The Happiest And Saddest Fans In Baseball."  Basically, everyone starts out happy and optimistic, but that quickly devolves into fear and angst as the season winds down.
  • Some prospect news.  Via David Hood at True Blue LA, "Alex Verdugo hits for the cycle in Quakes Romp."
  • Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Los Angeles Dodgers beginning to find some bullpen solutions."
"You try to stay with those guys, knowing they have the stuff," Mattingly said. "We have some youth, but we also have a couple guys who are capable of getting hot, and that's really what we need -- for a couple guys to really get hot and allow us to put some combinations out there."
"My bad habit is when I have free time, I tinker, tinker, tinker to make my swing the best I can," said Ellis. "The problem with that is that I'm in between swings every time I go to the plate. I made the decision to make it simple, and I feel I really took off."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Izturis Tonight - Lopes and Wills on Saturday

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Here is a quick notice about a Dodger signing event happening tonight at Frank & Sons in the City of Industry.  Dodger shortstop Cesar Izturis will be signing from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Go here for more information.
Frank & Son Collectible Show
19649 San Jose Avenue
Industry, CA 91748


Then, this weekend four more Dodger players (both past and present) will be at Frank & Sons.  Go here or here for information.  Featured are Carlos Frias, Austin Barnes, Davey Lopes and Maury Wills.  Please note that I am fairly certain that Austin Barnes and Carlos Frias are unlikely to be there since they both had been sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City since the original announcement of this event.  BTW, Rudy Law has been added to the lineup.  He will sign from 11:30 Am to 12:30 PM, and they will be free autographs.
Frank & Son Collectible Show
19649 San Jose Avenue
Industry, CA 91748

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Blog Kiosk: 8/26/2015 - Dodger Links - Rollins, Kershaw and Pederson

Following Kershaw's advice to play with urgency, Jimmy Rollins did just that.  Last night he hit a towering 422 foot home run to right field to cap a Dodger offensive explosion that had them score five runs for their first win during this current road trip.  Via Ken Gurnick at
"He's 100 percent right about that," Rollins said of Kershaw's advice. "It's almost like cruise control a little bit at times. It isn't because of effort, every team goes through that. When it's recognized, guys call that out, and you get back on the grind. Now the marathon is over and it's a five-week sprint. We're out front, and everybody is gunning for just that one spot. We have to show why we're the better team every single night."
Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are some more links to check out:
"When Kersh says we should play with panic -- I'd say a sense of urgency -- it tells you that he's not real happy with the urgency we're playing with, or the lack of urgency," said Mattingly.

"I think Kersh is one of our leaders. When he speaks, guys tend to listen to him for the respect they have for him, the way he goes about his business and the way he backs it up on the field. You would hope you have a number of guys that feel the same way, not just Kersh. When you get in tough situations, they're the guys that do things right. Obviously, Kersh is a huge voice."
“We’re in a time when we need to win ballgames and put the best team out there and that’s not me right now,” Pederson said. “I can live with that.”
“I think that I really struggled right before the All-Star break and right after. There were some things that were just baseball. You hit it hard, it goes at them. You strike out a lot. Some things don’t go your way,” Pederson said. “But it’s the past. It’s not a big deal. I need to continue to grow as a player.”
But then begins the hard part — combing through more than 10,000 games to find the 50 greatest — whatever that means. “I kind of had an idea of three games I thought would be the top three,” he said.

And then I had a list of maybe 25 others that I didn’t have to do much research on. The back-half, however, were games I had never heard of or simply didn’t realize the Dodgers had been the opposing team in. Some were actually embarrassing to admit I didn’t realize the Dodgers had played in.”

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    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Blog Kiosk: 8/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Arky Vaughan, Nicasio and Jharel Cotton

    Check out this fantastic vintage photograph of three members of the 1947 National League Pennant winning Brooklyn Dodgers: Dick Whitman, Carl Furillo  and Hall of Famer Arky Vaughan at Braves Field (via r/michaelconfoy at r/ClassicBaseball on Reddit).  Below is a great comment by r/niktemadur about Arky Vaughan :
    Widely regarded as one of the finest shortstops of all time, Vaughan was the NL batting champ in 1935, with an astonishing .385, so rare for a man playing his position.  Contemporary Luke "Ol' Aches and Pains" Appling of the White Sox was another one of those mythical beasts, winning the AL title the following year with .388, but I digress.

    Vaughan is also one of the tragic figures of baseball, having drowned in a lake fishing accident soon after retiring.

    What I didn't know was that Arky missed the 1944-46 seasons, which I assumed was due to WWII. But no, it was due to a weird, toxic incident with Dodgers manager Leo Durocher. Vaughan was a natural leader among his teammates, quiet, protective, respectful and a commanding presence.
    In July 1943, Durocher suspended pitcher Bobo Newsom for 3 games for loudly complaining about catcher Bobby Bragan's defensive skills. But then Durocher said some angry things about Newsom in a newspaper, which infuriated Vaughan, no manager should speak ill of his own players, particularly after suspending him for the exact same behavior, and much less in print!
    So Arky took off his uniform, stormed into Durocher's office, threw the clothes at him and said "Take this uniform and shove it right up your ass". Branch Rickey intervened and Arky finished the season, but then he retired to his ranch in California.

    Then check this out, when Durocher was suspended from baseball in 1947 (for being married and having a mistress), Vaughan returned to the Dodgers after missing three whole seasons! Batted .325 as a part-time player, rusty skills and all, the man was a natural.

    Here's Jackie on Vaughan:
    He was one of the fellows who went out of his way to be nice to me when I came in here as a rookie. Believe me, I needed it. He was a fine fellow.

    Check out some more links below:
    • ICYMI: The Dodgers sent reliever Yimi Garcia back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.  It is anticipated that right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio will be reinstated from the DL.  Via a Dodger press release:
    Nicasio has been on the disabled list since Aug. 10 with a left abdominal strain and has gone 1-3 with one save and a 3.06 ERA in 38 games (one start) this year.
    But, of course, Dodgers fans don't want to hear that and simply trusting in a regression to the mean when the season is reduced to six weeks seems risky. Change will come, but it might come from within. The most interesting potential fix is to promote the team's best pitching prospect, 19-year old Julio Urias.
    This is actually quite routine.  When Fernando Valenzuela first came up in 1980 he pitched out of the bullpen, so doing this has some precedence.
    • As I intimated above, at this point anything is worth a try.  Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Jharel Cotton emerges as possible Dodgers bullpen option."
    Dodgers minor league pitcher Jharel Cotton got the call on Friday, when Double-A Tulsa manager Razor Shines told the right-hander he was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. If Cotton keeps up his breakout season, it might not be the last such meeting he has in 2015.

    "He told me I'm going to Triple-A to relieve out of the pen, and hopefully the Dodgers like what they see," Cotton said. "It's great to know that."

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      Monday, August 24, 2015

      Blog Kiosk: 8/24/2015 - Dodger Links - Kershaw, Pederson and Chef Dave

      Longtime Dodger Chef David Pearson needs your help.  As you may know, the 51-year Dodger employee has been battling lung cancer and is currently going through his second round of chemo.  To assist him financially with this is a "Go Fund Me" page, and if you are so inclined please check it out here. Every little bit helps.  (Hat Tip: SOSG)

      Once upon a time I was invited to sit in the press box, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.   I had the pleasure of watching and writing about the game from that unique perspective, and made sure to test out a meal created by Chef Dave.  I remember walking in that room, getting a plate of pork chops and eating to my hearts delight.

      Anyway, you should check out Bill Plaschke's excellent story about Chef David Pearson from a couple of months ago here.
      With every press-box dining room being a reflection of the person who runs it, Dave's Diner is like a big hug. It is a place where the lowliest of workers can joke with Scully, where Tom Lasorda's voice still booms with glee, where Hefley and her husband Billy occupy one corner table, where Fernando Valenzuela can be found chowing at another one, where scouts gossip and writers complain and many folks just mill about until the first pitch.

      Dave Pearson created this space with a gentle, easygoing manner that matches his simple delicacies. He personally serves the broadcasters in a separate side room so Scully can at least eat in peace, yet he treats everyone as if they were a Hall of Famer, as he spends most of his time standing at the end of the food line shaking hands and telling stories.
      Below are some links to check out:
      “I hope we’re panicking a little bit. I think panic’s a good thing, to a certain extent,” Kershaw said. “It’s August whatever-it-is and we have five weeks and whatever it is, too. There needs to be a sense of urgency — maybe that’s better to say than panic.

      “I feel like we have to start playing like that.”
      That's the situation Joc Pederson faces right now, as he was held out of the Dodgers' lineup for a second consecutive game on Sunday despite a right-handed pitcher taking the mound for the Astros.

      Kiké Hernandez again got the start in center field, and manager Don Mattingly all but outright said that's his preferred lineup going forward.

      "It's that time of year. Kiké's just been swinging the bat better, and he's a comparable defender. It's just one of those things we have to do at this point," Mattingly said.

      "I'm still going to try to match up Joc [with righties] ... but Kiké's earned at-bats. We feel like he gives us a better chance to win."
      • Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digests provides, "Your Annual Reminder About Postseason Eligibility."
      • Phungo made note of a Dodger anniversary that had escaped my notice; "ANNIVERSARY: 40 Years ago Davey Lopes Steals 38 consecutive Bases."
      • Check out a whole bunch of preview pics from Panini's 2015 Immaculate Baseball set here; including the Tommy Lasorda and Corey Seager cards below.  Of special note, that Seager card is incredible.  It's a "1 of 1" game-used leather glove relic card.  Wow!  This set officially goes live this coming Wednesday.
      I noticed last night in myself a sense of resignation as Fiers pitched the no-hitter last night. While other Dodgers fans flailed around in a panic, I didn't care all that much. Yes, it sucked that the Dodgers were being no-hit (especially at the same time the devil magic Giants get HRs from their pitchers), but my overriding emotion was "Yes! I have a lead story for the cover of tonight's sports section!"

      That's what happens in the middle of August, when you're staring at preseason football and little else.

      I just don't feel the humiliation of a no-hitter anymore. My feelings of depression and embarrassment have faded over the years. I decided to explore that by studying the times that the Dodgers have been no-hit since I've been following baseball.

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      Friday, August 21, 2015

      2015 Topps Chrome - The Dodger Autograph Cards

      Below is a final glance at the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball card set.  This time I look at many of the Dodger autograph cards that are available.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see any of the "triple autograph" cards in the set, so I'll update that when they do surface.  In the meantime, check out everything else below.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.

      As you can see there are two Dodger rookie cards available as a part of Topps rookie autograph set: Joc Pederson and Yimi Garcia.  I have included two photos for each player: the not normal base auto'd card on the left and an numbered parallel on the right.  The Pederson "purple refractor" below is numbered to /250 copies, and the Garcia "blue refractor" is numbered to /150 copies.

      Of note, it's nice that Topps decided to use a brand new photo for the Joc Pederson autograph card; whereas, the Yimi Garcia card uses the same pic found in the base set.

      Autographed Rookie Cards

      #AR-JPN Joc Pederson

      Blog Kiosk: 8/21/2015 - Dodger Links - McCarthy, Puig and Tommy Lasorda

      Even at the age of 87 Tommy Lasorda sure does get around.  A couple of days ago he was invited to the Dallas Cowboys preseason workout, and even gave a Lasorda-like pep talk to the players.  Via Brandon George at the CowboysBlog:
      “When I talk to them, I don’t lollipop them. I get on them good. No sir, if you want me to talk to the team they’re going to hear from me,” Lasorda said. “I said, ‘You guys from this date until next year, I will probably speak to a million people. If you’re not in the Super Bowl, I’m going to tell a million people how lousy you guys are.’”

      Photo above via @SportsDayDFW on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
      • Brandon McCarthy can write too.  He pens a piece for ESPN, "Guest columnist Brandon McCarthy: Zack Greinke knew in spring training he'd be on par with Clayton Kershaw this season."
      Zack's statement helped me and his other new teammates realize exactly what kind of guy he is. Small talk doesn’t interest him and he chooses his words very carefully. He doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean. He’s not overly positive or cocky. Rather, he’s very down to earth, and fully self-aware -- and he is as quick to critique himself as he is to realize when he’s executed something to perfection. Those who don’t take the time to get to know him miss just how much he brings to the table when he talks. He’s realistic, measured and unflinchingly honest.
      “His stats are impressive … the most impressive thing to me is his ability to not only recognize pitches in the strike zone but to separate pitches that are “attack” pitches and those that are “defensive” pitches,” Cougill said via email. “So many hitters work on developing the ability to recognize ball and strike but commit to strikes that they can’t attack.”
      "You always have to go through these difficulties, but the people who are next to me trust me and support me," Puig said in Spanish.

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      Thursday, August 20, 2015

      Today's Anniversary: An MLB Record Likely to Stand the Test of Time is Held by a Brooklyn Dodger

      Today is a very unique anniversary.  In fact, it marks a record held by a former Brooklyn Dodger ballplayer that has stood for 70 years, and it probably will never be broken.

      So, what feat was accomplished on this day?

      On August 20, 1945 a fresh faced 17-year-old shortstop, who had already debuted in Dodger Blue the season prior at the age of 16-years and seven months, became the youngest MLB ballplayer to hit a home run in a game.  His name is Tommy Brown and he was 17-years and 257 days old when he did it.  BTW, he is also the second youngest when he hit home run #2 five days later.

      I know you're wondering, how is it that someone so young made it up to the show?  After all, Tommy was not a top-flight prospect.  Instead, he played ball as a teen during WWII - a period when many MLB'ers were doing their duty for God and country.

      In Tommy's case, Pee Wee Reese was still overseas, and he was remembered by Branch Rickey as being a mobile fielder during spring training (although he wasn't exactly sure-handed).  So need overcame experience.  The youngster got the call from the Class B Piedmont League, and played both ends of a doubleheader on August 3, 1944 for his very first experience on a Major League field.  He went on to be the regular shortstop for the Dodgers, playing in 46 games, that season.  BTW, he is only the second youngest person to ever play Major League ball.  Joe Nuxhall had pitched a game earlier that season at the ripe age of 15.

      The following season he again started in the minors but came up to Brooklyn during the tail end of the 1945 season during the pennant chase.  Just over two weeks later he hit his record setting home run against Preacher Roe of the Pirates.  It was the Dodgers lone score that day.

      For a fantastic biography on Tommy Brown check out C. Paul Rogers III biography at SABR, here.  Below is a short excerpt about how he came to be signed by Brooklyn:
      Tommy Brown was a local kid; he was born December 6, 1927, in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. He never knew his father and was raised primarily by an aunt and uncle. He quit school at a young age to work with his uncle unloading barges on the docks of New York. Brown spent his free time playing baseball on the pavement and cobblestone streets and in the famous Brooklyn Parade Grounds. The Dodgers held open tryouts there in 1943 and a friend who played first base on Tommy’s team talked Brown into going with him. They joined about 2,500 other kids and Brown arrived without a glove or spikes, items he did not own. After three days the Dodgers told him and a handful of others that they would hear from the team. Brown was only fifteen years old. Over the winter, the club offered him a chance to attend spring training in Bear Mountain, New York. His “bonus” was the 25-cent fee for the ferry.
      Below are his career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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